Naturalisation. Financial soundness. Bankruptcy

If you apply to naturalise as a British citizen, you must be of good character. One of the factors considered when assessing your character is your financial soundness.

Bankruptcy may be an issue affecting your financial soundness.

Bankruptcy is the situation where you are not only unable to pay your debts, but a bankruptcy order has been made by a court against you.

Your application can be granted if the bankruptcy order has been annulled, if you were discharged at least 10 years ago, or if you were declared bankrupt abroad.

Where it was little or no fault of your own leading to bankruptcy, the application will not normally be refused. An example offered by the official Home Office guidance is the situation where you have simply been a victim of the poor business decisions of others, or where your business has been severely affected by an economic downturn.

But if you committed fraud during the bankruptcy process, if you concealed assets, concealed or destroyed financial documents, made fraudulent claims, false statements or declarations, then your application for citizenship will normally be refused.

The caseworker will assess the scale of the bankruptcy, the economic circumstances, and how culpable you were in becoming bankrupt. If you were reckless or irresponsible in your financial affairs leading to your bankruptcy, your application will normally be refused. If you deliberately relied on a recession to avoid payment of taxes or payment to creditors, your application will also normally be refused.

If you want to apply for British citizenship or for a British passport and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.